Google Takes Offers Program Further with New Loyalty Rewards

Google Offers is testing a new loyalty program. I’ve written it up on Marketing Land. Right now only a handful of SF Bay Area businesses are participating. They’re all prior Google Offers merchants.

Google will email the prior consumer-buyers of these deals with a new loyalty offer. The following is a mock up: $8 off two purchases at Sonoma Chicken Coop.

Here’s how it works mechanically:

  • Consumer-users (previous buyers of a Google Offer) receive an email with the new loyalty offer
  • They save it to their accounts
  • They’re asked to register a credit card (there’s probably already one on file if they’ve bought an offer). However for the trial period you can only use MasterCard
  • Consumers are asked to use the registered card at the local business or retailer
  • Once the condition is met (e.g., two visits) a rebate shows up on the credit card statement

There’s no presentation of the offer in paper form or via mobile at the register. It all happens in the background. The merchant doesn’t have to track redemptions either. Google will provide the data after the fact.

MasterCard is sending consumer purchase data to Google. Google will then show the aggregated purchase data to merchants, who will know how well the Offer/loyalty Offer worked. It provides a new level of “transparency” to merchant-advertisers about the efficacy of Offers (and later other types of ads).

The program is noteworthy as a loyalty complement to conventional daily deals. As an aside, Google told me that merchants will have significant control over the loyalty conditions and value of the incentive. However, as I said in my Marketing Land piece, the online-to-offline analytics are also a major aspect of this.

Assuming everything goes well with the test, Google aims to expand the capability to other types of ads in the future. For example, one could imagine an offer or loyalty reward in a traditional search ad, which would then utilize the Google registered credit card “infrastructure.” The original search ad could be tracked to the offline point of sale in the manner described. Currently this isn’t possible.

It’s very interesting from multiple angles. What do you think?

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7 Responses to “Google Takes Offers Program Further with New Loyalty Rewards”

  1. Electricians says at

    Wow this provides a very interesting insight into the long term strategic thinking of Google. 

    Combine this little trial with Google’s dominant Android operating system for mobile phones, Google Wallet and Google’s Adwords Advertising Platform, and you start to see end to end transparency from ads presented to a particular consumer (known through Google’s new unified privacy policy across Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Android Apps Marketplace, etc), how that effected where that consumer went (Android, Google Maps, etc) and whether that consumer made a purchase and how much that purchase was for (Google Wallet and/or Mastercard Alliance).

    This is an extremely comprehensive combination and over the upcoming years will enable Google to target consumers with more persuasive and effective advertising that drives them to real purchasing decisions.

    My question is …. How are we as competitors going to compete with this? Yellow Pages directories have trouble even tracking what leads they generate, let alone providing a comprehensive solution like what Google have put together here. How can we band together as an industry to compete with this?

  2. Greg says at

    I think you’re perceiving things correctly and I don’t think any other individual company is in a position to compete at this level.

  3. Card-Coupon Connection Growing Fast says at

    […] is the model that Google is starting to pursue with its Offer Rewards loyalty program, announced yesterday. It’s also the vision of the credit card companies with mobile payments. […]

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  5. Pat Lazure says at

    Very cool.  My only concern is that if there’s a dispute between the consumer & the cashier (i.e. I thought the offer was for $2 off, not $1 off, or disagreement about the “fine print” inherent in most coupons – could be something as simple as the offer’s expiration date), then there’s no real “point of reference” to fall back on to resolve the dispute.  

    Of course, presentation using a mobile wallet would fix all this, but we’re a long way from that.

  6. Greg Sterling says at

    Pat:
    There wouldn’t be any dispute unless there was an error “on the back end.” The discount is taken off by the “system.” There’s no presentation of anything at the POS.

  7. Building Loyalty into the Deal Itself says at

    […] wrote earlier this week about Google Offers with Rewards and the move to incorporate loyalty into deal programs. This morning I saw an offer from […]

  8. Google Aggressively Pushing Starbucks Offer says at

    […] Offers recently started testing a CRM/rewards program with select Offers merchants. It etends the value of Offers considerably to business owners and […]

  9. Matthias Galica says at

    Google Wallet isn’t looking so hot, but point taken.  Furthermore they used to be gentle giants, now they’re really pushing.  Side with Zuck?

  10. Gcina A. Gumede says at

    Hi
    I would like to ask if Google has a reward system called “Google Reward Scheme? where Google works with First National Corier Service to send checks that have been won? Thank you.

  11. Greg Sterling says at

    Not to my knowledge

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